10 January 2014
Answer the Smellophone
It was way back in 1960 that Hans Laube created the ill-fated Smell-O- Vision system, designed to inject up to 30 different odors into movie
theaters when triggered by the soundtrack of a film. Its one and only
implementation was with the film "Scent of Mystery," and it was anything
but a roaring success. Like a bad penny, the concept has re-emerged in the
form of an iPhone and Android smartphone accessory from Scentee, Inc.
( www.scentee.com). The device — also called Scentee — works with an app
that tells it when to spray a fragrance into the air, and it can be set to go off
when you receive an email, a text message, or a "like" on Facebook — or
even at a particular time of day.
Scentee just plugs into the headphone jack and provides up to 100
sprays per $5 cartridge. The scent options include predictable air freshener
aromas such as rose, jasmine, cinnamon roll, strawberry, coconut, and so
forth. You can also pick corn soup, Korean BBQ meat, or baked potato,
however. Reportedly, a bacon scent is coming soon. Alas, as of this writing,
it is available only on Amazon Japan for the equivalent of $37 including your
first scent cartridge. But who knows? It may turn up in the US eventually. ▲
■ The Scentee smartphone accessory tickles
your olfactory organs.
Mobile Photography Tools
More useful smartphone add-ons are offered in the form of mobile photography tools from olloclip ( www.olloclip.com) — now
available for the iPhone 5/5s/4/4s. One option is the Telephoto +
Circular Polarizing Lens which could come in handy for trips to the
zoo and so on. The $99.99 price tag gets you only 2x magnification,
which doesn't exactly pull in distant objects. For comparison, a $9.97
pair of Walmart binoculars offers 10x. A better bet might be the new
4-In-One lens which
combines a fisheye
lens, a wide-angle lens,
a 10x macro, and a
15x macro — all for
$69.99. In any case,
you just clip the device
over the smartphone's
camera hole and
you're ready to shoot.
com for details. ▲
■ A 10x close-up of a watch face shot using
an olloclip macro lens.
COMPUTERS and NETWORKING Continued